Velocities by Kathe Koja – Book Review

Velocities by Kathe Koja is a group of intense, bold, deep and dark short stories. There are thirteen stories and each story is a masterpiece in itself. The stories cover a wide variety of topics from love, death, pain, hope and a lot of others. 

At Eventide, Toujours and The Marble Lily are my favorite stories. I really do not want to discuss the stories here but in some stories the author brings the darker side of the regular emotions for the reader to feel. They are dark and intense yet sensible and heart-breaking. The elements of the stories are rich and cunning in a special way.

Author Kathe Koja’s writing style is not regular but diverse and unique and she successfully presents her incredible vision to the readers in the most amazing way. This is the first time I am reading something like this. It definitely triggered a lot of emotions inside me. 

I received the advance reviewer’s copy of this book from Meerkat Press for an honest review.   

This book is releasing on 21st of April, 2020. I recommend this book to everyone who wants to try something different. You can buy this book here.

Below The Surface by Cynthia A. Graham – Book Review

Below The Surface by Cynthia A. Graham is a very interesting mystery novel. The story is set in a small village where the leads of the book Hick and Carol come  to investigate the death of the local priest and a federal agent. 

Hick is already in deep pain after losing his wife and the baby on the way. It’s like Hick totally lost hope, he even finds it difficult to spend time with his two sons. When Carol asks Hick to help her investigate the death of Kelly and torching down of the church, Hick accompanies her. The case is almost closed by the local police when Nicodemus Skaggs confesses to the crime. But, that is more to it.

The narration of the investigation is enthralling. Usually, after going through half the book, I pride myself of guessing the culprit. But this book did not give away a single hint and the final twist came as a total surprise. This book not only has a very interesting mystery, but also a very strong and deep emotion. The story transforms Hick towards the end. He finds hope again. 

There are many characters in the book that I connected with, like, Skaggs’ eldest daughter, Carol, and Father Grant. A little love and care towards our fellow beings is much needed and it truly does wonders.

I received the advance reviewer copy of the book from Edelweiss Plus for an honest review. The book released on 10th Mar, 2020. I bet you all will be surprised by the climax twist. With so much fuss about going about Corona virus, I recommend you to grab this book and read away! 

Buy your copy today here.

Splinters are Children of Wood by Leia Penina Wilson – Book Review

Splinters are Children of Wood by Leia Penina Wilson is intense and raw poetry. This book is the winner of the Ernest Sandeen Prize in Poetry. Each poem describes what it means to be a girl and the poet coming from the Midwest herself, I can totally understand what kind of conditions she must have seen around her that influenced her to write these beautiful poems. It won’t be exaggerating to say the world has a unique way of shaping the girls. 

Samoan myths are mentioned in these poems in a unique way, thus, carrying an ode to the poet’s roots. Also, the poems are punctuated in the most beautiful and intricate way I’ve ever read. They are almost like paintings. I read each poem more than once just to enjoy the depth of them. 

There are three different chapters in the book. There are some beautiful lines, like:”I cut my own throat close my own wound wear my own night descended blood.”
“What dream what maiden what full name””how do the promise of heaven and the brokenness of earth correspond — re: it will rain tonight.”

Leia Penina Wilson is an afakasi Samoan poet from the Midwest. I am so much impacted by her poems. Ms. Wilson has definitely increased my love for poetry through this book. The darkness in these poems touched my soul in the most beautiful way.

I thank Edelweiss Plus for introducing me to literature from countries all over the world. I’m so much in love with the diversity I find in various books and yet, they touch my soul in spite of the different language, culture and traditions.

Thank you University of Notre Dame Press for sending the hard copy of advanced uncorrected page proof to my from across the other end of the world. It means so much.

The Tourist Attraction by Sarah Morgenthaler – Book Review

The Tourist Attraction by Sarah Morgenthaler is a feast to the reader. This is a beautiful story placed in a small town in Alaska named Moose Springs. After reading this book, I so want to go to Moose Springs and have a small vacation, all thanks to the author for the wonderful details she included about the town in the book. 

Graham is a local of Moose Springs who runs a cage named ‘The Tourist Trap’. He loves his small town and hates when tourists come and spoil the peace among the locals. Long time ago, he made a rule of ‘no tourist’ policy for his own dating life. But all the caution flies right out of the window when he lays his eyes on Zoey, who comes to visit the town for two weeks on a vacation. 

Zoey and Graham fall hard and fast for each other. I couldn’t help but fall in love with both Jake, Graham’s pet dog and Ulysses, the town’s moose. They play a key role in bringing Zoey and Graham together. Though Graham initially builds walls to put Zoey at distance, he eventually gives in. And for all the romantics out there, there is a proper filmy ending to this story that you wouldn’t wanna miss. 

There is also a little drama around the town is losing its economy and the locals completely going against the privatization of the town and its local businesses. 

This book is going to be released on May 5th, 2020. A perfect read for summer. Being a traveler myself, I loved this book so much. Cover illustration by Kristen Solecki is very cute. Thank you Sourcebooks and Sarah Morgenthaler for sharing the ARC copy with me. 

Second Sister by Chan Ho-Kei – Book Review

Second Sister originally written by Chan Ho-Kei and translated to English by Jeremy Tiang is a crime novel set in Hong Kong. The story is very compelling. The author has intelligently put various lifestyles, working conditions, family lives, digital world, crime, corruption, everything into this story which will make the reader pause for a bit.

Nga-Yee is a hardworking young woman trying to provide food, shelter and education for her fifteen year old sister, Siu-Man. The sudden death of Siu-Man comes as a shock to Nga-Yee. When she realizes that the trolls in the internet world have pushed her sister off the building, Nga-Yee decides to go after the person who did this. She hires a private detective, N.

N is a hacker and an extremely talented detective who accepts Nga-Yee’s case and promises her to help her avenge her sister’s death. The kind of dark secrets that unfold in the process are shocking. During their investigation, Nga-Yee notices how teenagers struggle to fit in this fast paced digital world and how it’s impacting them in their minds. The story is about how Nga-Yee takes her revenge at the end and if it’s worth it.
The author also covered how some evil people use internet to blackmail young and weaker ones for their own benefits. By the end of the novel, the reader realizes that no matter how advanced the technology is, human relationships and emotions are way too important.

The story gives the reader a glimpse of life in Hong Kong. The author gave a great detail about technology, hacking, stringray, how it all works, etc. I really adore the author for doing extensive research about the same and putting it in a wonderful way in the story.
This book is releasing on February 18th, 2020. I thank the author Chan Ho-Kei, Edelweiss Plus, Crown Publishing Company and Grove Atlantic for sharing the ARC copy with me.